The Islamabad High Court dismissed on Thursday a petition challenging the appointment of dual nationals as special assistants to the prime minister.
“There is also no restriction on appointing persons having dual nationality,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said in the verdict. “The only restriction provided in the Constitution is under Article 63(1) (c) and it is confined to disqualification of a person from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”
It was recently revealed that seven special assistants and advisers of PM Imran Khan were either dual nationals or they held residency in other countries.
The recent disclosure of assets and nationalities of PM’s aides caused a furor among the masses.
Days later, PM’s aide on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and special assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza resigned from their posts. Aidrus cited criticism over her Canadian nationality as the reason behind her resignation.
In his petition, the petitioner’s lawyer also argued that under Article 93 the prime minister can only have five advisers. But the argument was dismissed by the court.
“There is no restriction regarding the number of Special Assistants that can be appointed by the Prime Minister,” the verdict said.
It acknowledged the “contributions” made by dual nationals for Pakistan. “The patriotism of Pakistani citizens holding dual nationality cannot be doubted,” the verdict read.